Proper density and morphology of dendritic spines are important for higher brain functions such as learning and memory. However, our knowledge about molecular mechanisms that regulate thedevelopment and maintenance of dendritic spines is limited. We recently reported that cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) is required for the development and maintenance of dendritic spines of cortical neurons in the mouse brain. Previous in vitro studies have suggested the involvement of Cdk5 substrates in the formation of dendritic spines; however, their role in spine development has not been tested in vivo. Here, we demonstrate that Cdk5 phosphorylates collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) in the dendritic spines of cultured hippocampal neurons and in vivo in the mouse brain. When we eliminated CRMP2 phosphorylation in CRMP2KI/KI mice, the densities of dendritic spines significantly decreased in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in the mouse brain. These results indicate that phosphorylation of CRMP2 by Cdk5 is important for dendritic spine development in cortical neurons in the mouse hippocampus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology